Louis Kahn at Netherlands Architecture Institute, Rotterdam (2012-13)

Louis Kahn: The Power of Architecture

Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI), Rotterdam
7 September 2012 - 6 January 2013

Press release text by Netherlands Architecture Institute

The world première of the retrospective Louis Kahn - The Power of Architecture at the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI) in Rotterdam will be held on 7 September 2012. Louis Kahn was one of the twentieth century’s master builders, and highly esteemed by his fellow architects. He ranks among such seminal figures as Le Corbusier, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and Frank Lloyd Wright and has exerted an enduring influence on the work of significant contemporary architects like Renzo Piano and Frank Gehry.

The exhibition Louis Kahn - The Power of Architecture is the first retrospective of the famous American architect in twenty years. Original drawings and sketches, historic and newly constructed models, photographs and films in which contemporary architects shed light on Kahn’s pivotal role in the discipline of architecture, will be presented in the main gallery of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI). The presentation will also include a series of extraordinary watercolours recording Kahn’s travels through North America, Europe and Egypt.

The Kimbell Art Museum in Texas, the Salk Institute in California and the National Assembly in Bangladesh are among Louis Kahn’s most important designs. His buildings, private homes, museums, places of worship and university and government structures are simple, monumental, timeless and uplifting; his designs transcend the bounds of faith and science. Kahn designed a Protestant church, synagogues and a muslim prayer hall. ‘Kahn had the gift of bridging the gulf between different worlds. Even the gulf between Christianity, Islam and Judaism’, writes Ole Bouman, director of the Netherlands Architecture Institute (NAI).

The exhibition was made by the Vitra Design Museum in collaboration with the NAI and the Architectural Archive of the University of Pennsylvania. It is an incredible opportunity for those in the profession to see such a remarkable range of Kahn’s original work gathered together— and for a wide-ranging public to become acquainted with the work of this influential architect. Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture opens at the NAI, Museumpark 25, Rotterdam on 7 September 2012 and runs until 6 January 2013.

’As Global Sponsor of the exhibition Louis Kahn – The Power of Architecture, Swarovski continues its long heritage of supporting creative and cultural visionaries.’